“I want them to remember that his heart was with the community,”
Alternberger told La Prensa shortly after Escobar's
death. “He was a tireless advocate for what he thought was right
for the community. He was surrounded by people who had their own
agendas, but he never let those other agendas get in his way.
Louis was different. Louis built bridges. I think that was part
of his success.”
Escobar developed a reputation as a ‘consensus-builder’ as city
council president, sometimes angering his own Democratic party
with some of his decisions. Escobar was known to reach across
the aisle to council Republicans and regarded council committee
appointments in a nonpartisan manner.
worked toward social justice within the Latino community,
devoting a lot of his time to causes and concerns such as
education, healthcare, diversity, and cultural competence. He,
along with his close friend—political activist Connie Eason—received
a Diamante Award in 2002.
Most of Escobar’s
career was devoted to public service—five years as a Catholic
priest, as a jail counselor, as a probation officer, as a facilitator/director
of a self-help group for people living with HIV/AIDS, and
as a substance abuse counselor and then as a director of
Adelante, Inc. He also ran a homeless shelter and served as
interim coordinator at the University of Toledo’s
Multicultural Student Center.
As the executive director of Adelante, Inc., Escobar
doubled the social service nonprofit’s budget, introduced
innovative, culturally-sensitive programs, and was instrumental
in coordinating Adelante’s fifth year anniversary celebration
and in creating César E. Chávez Humanitarian Awards banquet.
Escobar himself was awarded the César E. Chávez Humanitarian
Award at the 2010 ceremony.
NOTE: In La Prensa
photo is Louis Escobar with Councilwoman Theresa Morris.